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Dodgers need to put an end to the Padres' pixie-dust routine

The San Diego Padres.

The eyes see, but the brain won’t allow it to compute.

I said, the San Diego Padres.

That would be the first-place San Diego Padres, owners of the best record in the National League. Owners of the lowest staff ERA in all of baseball.

The same Padres who last year went 75-87 and finished 20 games back of the Dodgers.

And now they’re miraculously baseball’s new darlings?

The Dodgers should be crushing this team. Should be embarrassed to be looking up at them, five games back.

The Padres are a team of no-names. Their lineup includes a great first baseman and seven guys you never heard of. And for good reason. They’re leading the National League West with a bunch of Triple-A players.

Their total team budget is an embarrassing $37.8 million, second-lowest in the major leagues. Manny Ramirez and Hiroki Kuroda together make only $2.4 million less.

Their rotation is missing Chris Young, their would-be ace, and it’s still currently the best in baseball. And it’s not like it’s filled with a bunch of hot, young prospects.

Only Mat Latos -- who only flirted with a perfect game Thursday against the Giants -- at age 22 is their only truly young starter. Wade LeBlanc is 25, Clayton Richard 26, Kevin Correia is 29 and Jon Garland 30.

Not exactly Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Johnny Podres and Claude Osteen.

Of course, setting the world on fire in the middle of May is not exactly the same thing as doing it in the middle of September. The Dodgers need to bring this team back to Earth, and have the perfect opportunity as they play them five times over the next seven days.

The Padres historically have been something of a pain in the butt to the Dodgers. Time to return the favor. Time to offer a lesson in reality.

The San Diego Padres?

-- Steve Dilbeck
Comments () | Archives (56)

The comments to this entry are closed.

And Dodgers are going to put an end to the Padres by throwing there ace Ortiz at them?

Wow... I wouldn't expect less coming from the mouth of someone at the Los Angeles Times. I'm not a Padres fan, but I'm glad to see that they are at least showing they know how to play baseball. I think it's more embarrassing that two of our players equal to the whole payroll of the Padres and we're performing much worse. We'll see what happens this next week, but I'm sure that its not going to be nearly as easy as you're making it out to be. You don't take baseball for what it is.

HaHaHa, No Names? These No Names are putting up A LOT better numbers than your washed up steroid shooting losers. The baby Pads will have no problem beating you over-paid sell outs. Great job bringing up the pitching staff, take a look at the doyers stellar rotation, bunch of noodle arm wanna-bes. Sit back and watch the Padres win the division, and all you wanna be gangsters cry about ownership and management issues of you lowly doyers.

I'm upset. I write a comment. LA Times blog won't accept it. It's something technical, I've written you this note before, no response. Is that why there are (0) comments?

25 and 26 are young ages, especially for starting pitchers, even if you want to use the "prospect" label. I don't know how it distributes exactly but the average age or mean age when a starting pitcher "arrives" at his potential, or as a bona fide major leaguer who is going to last, must be around 25, 26 or 27. Some make it sooner, many don't until later. The Padres have a "truly young" staff.

I think I figured it out.

what a ridiculous, ill-informed article. you're getting PAID to write this stuff?? pixie dust routine? haven't they just swept the giants TWICE already this season?

the padres have a lot the whiny, overpaid dodgers don't have -- they have a lot of homegrown young talent, a underdog spirit, a passion to play the game and a desire to win.

they also have a new GM and new ownership who are more concerned with winning, not suing the living daylights out of each other.

I am confused. You mock the Padres success with a $37.8M payroll. You do realize that the mockery should be aimed at the Dodgers performance with their payroll?

And I would take the Padres pitching staff over the Dodgers any day of the week. Do you think the current Dodgers staff compares to Koufax and Drysdale?

"Setting the world on fire in the middle of May" is something the Dodgers should go ahead and try. It might actually get them somewhere. I dare them to try and run the bases like SD does. I challenge them to form a cohesive clubhouse and to stay off TMZ (Kemp?)...

Now come on down here this weekend and put us in our place. Because right now our place is the team with the best record in the NL since LAST JULY. Not just since this season started.

Enjoy your money, Manny. Enjoy paying him, LA.

59-38 since last July 27, NL's best winning percentage, just ahead of the Cardinals and Phillies. Staff ERA is a best-in-the-bigs 2.61 and have twice as many team shutouts (eight) as any other team.

Dodgers ERA 4.68. I'll take Garland, Correia, Latos, LeBlanc, Richard over whoever the Dodgers rotation consists of any day. Kuroda, Billingsley, Kershaw, Padilla and Ortiz? Come on.

A lesson in reality?

In reality the Padres have the best record in the NL and the Dodgers are struggling to stay at .500

Yes, the San Diego Padres. Unlike that over-the-hill, overpaid, defensively-deficient team up north, the Padres are playing fun baseball, stealing bases, playing great defense and pitching well. The Dodgers play crap defense, can't pitch and are staring at a lower payroll over the next few years.

Furthermore, I didn't realize that 25 and26 were not "truly young". . .you know, since most players peak at 27 - 30. I guess Richard and LeBlanc should pack it in since they are over-the-hill. The Padres are sure to fall back to earth as these guys start feeling their age.

You are correct that it must be sad to look up at the Padres right now. Do not be such a hater though, it is not like we, the Padres will ever win a world series so this is the highlight of our season for now. We even (messed) up a perfect game against the gutless Giants. The Dbacks did the same thing a few years ago and went to the NLCS with basically a triple A team and now they are back in the cellar but at least they have a World Series. Pitching, defense and speed is what is propelling this great record so far, but missing teams Aces help out as well. No Lincecum in 6 games so far and will not see him Mon-Tue either. Should be a fun weekend series, go Padres!

yeah, but its too bad the moronic Joe Torre is letting Ramon Ortiz start tonight. right off the bat we've got an almost guaranteed loss to SD. great decision, Joe!

A team of no-names? Who is Charlie Haegar, Jon Ely, and Ramon Ortiz? You wanna talk about our pitchers? HA! The only pitcher you have is Kersahw, sometimes Billingsley, and sometimes Broxton. Give me a break Los Angeles, keep smelling the smog and sitting in traffic. Outside Kemp, Ethier, and Kershaw, your team is WORTHLESS! Look at yourself in the mirror.

How in the world did Steve Dilbeck write this article when he was obviously choking on a Dodger Dog while he did it? I mean good lord Steve, care for the Dodgers much?

And how can you call Jon Garland a no-name, when he played for YOUR Dodgers last year?

And how is David Eckstein a no-name? He has won two World Series and played for the Angels?

And Tony Gwynn Jr., is a no-name? His father, of the same name, is a Hall of Famer. I'm pretty sure Dodger fans know who Tony Gwynn is?

But back to my point. Your job is to get hits on the blog and comments so your editors can be happy. For that, you've done a great job. Just try not to trip over your Dodgers jersey when you head to the ballpark tonight.

Money doesn't win championships. Good pitching, defense and clutch hitting DOES!!! And the Smoog Angeles DODGERS dont have any of them.

BeatLA: Just because your daddy was a big name, doesn't make you one. And, yeah, heard of Jon Garland. Nice pitcher, but not exactly a big name. Same with David Eckstein, a fine, scrappy role player, but not a big name. The Padres are a team of mostly role players. They should be proud as punch over their start, but let's check back in a few months. As anyone who reads this blog could tell you, I hardly root for the Dodgers. This is just reality. And thanks for the hit.

Suck it, Steve.

Thanks for the locker room fodder. You think the Padres need _more_ motivation to get amped for this weekend?

Haha! Steve, you are such a have no idea how dumb you look after writing that joke of a blog. So having a much higher payroll equals a better team?? You are so lame i can't even continue with this post...Have fun looking up at the Padres all year with your massive payroll.

Who writes this stuff ... Dilbert?

Manuelawood is oh, so 90s. With the new ownership and management maybe the Padres have figured out that an exciting, competitive team is the way to put butts in the seats. And they've got a pile of money ready for a bat at the trade deadline if things keep looking up and/ or Boston mouth watering for Adrian and an everyday player and good prospects in the trade.

C'mon, down, Doggers. We're looking forward to hosting you.

Wow, I don't think I have ever seen a less intelligent piece of analysis ever sanctioned by a world class newspaper. It is like you reversed the comments with the blog.

wwwoooww... a little bitter?? I'm not saying the Padres are going to win the division but you have to give them credit. Putting a team together with minimal payroll and still being able compete is pretty good. No names? To who? All you have to do is pay attention to the rest of the teams in the division. Some of the current Dodger players started off as no names too and then turned into pretty good players. We'll see who gets a dose of reality after this series. Maybe it'll be the 3rd place Dodgers.

Ah Dilbeck, with the Gwynns it's pedigree, right? That's why champion thoroughbreds get millions for stud services.

More often than not, big money spent on prima donnas do not equate to the best w/l records. Enthusiasm and fun-of-playing are worth much more than sitting around a locker room comparing Mr. T starter kits. The Padres have had the Dodgers number for some years now. Oh well, live with it.

You got one thing right in that inane article: the Dodgers should be embarrassed.

Talk is cheap. Preforance is what counts. So lets not stirt the pot. Let our glovers and bats do the talking for us. Go Dodgers!

"David Eckstein, a fine, scrappy role player, but not a big name. "

The guy was a World Series MVP! Do you even watch baseball?

Pixie Dust Huh? Here's some memorable Pixie Dust from the LA Times.

Interesting Op ed piece. You do realize that no matter what happens this weekend, when you leave your team will still be looking up at the first place San Diego Padres. Get used to it.

A little provocation is fine in a blog.

pardres wins in world series games 1
dodgers world series championships 5
manny hall of fame roider
98 san diego padres most roided out clubhouse in history of baseball
padres homegrown talent Gonzales, latos (sorry the rest of the team will never have serious major league careers *)
dodgers homegrown talent ethier, kemp, bills, kershaw, martin, broxton
best off season pickup garland
worst offseason pickup harriston(can the padres stop it with this brother crap seriously just get the best player available to you and stop there)

*i do like venable and cabrerra

P.S. I'm sure the padres owner and gm come and personally thank manny ramirez and dodgers every year for keeping their franchise afloat with there 9 games at petco a year.

steven gregory: I watch way too much baseball. Actually was there for every game when Eckstein won his ring. And he was a fine, scrappy role player on that Angels team. Maybe 30 guys won rings on that team, but that hardly qualifies them as a big name. If you're holding David Eckstein up as an example of big-time players on the Padres, I rest my case.

Bob Brooks: Yep, that Padres team was very good. In 1996.

You must be a Padres fan Mr. "Dilweed"! This is perfect for the Padres to point to for a SWEEP!!!

Thanks for letting a small lil' market team like the Padres show alot more heart and play than your BIG TIME "Trolley" Dodgers!

Why are you comparing Latos to a Legend like Koufax? At 22 was Koufax already a legend? or did he have to earn his status?

Go Padres!

For someone that watches ". . . way too much baseball. " You sure write about baseball like you have not watched much of it at all.

This conversation should have been over after the first commenter. Next time you want to drop a rant about how no-name my Padres are. And how you think the Dodgers should be crushing them. Check your listed starting pitcher for the upcoming game. Russ Ortiz is in your rotation. There's not much else that needs to be said.


Way to go. I love your blog. Keep it up.

I'm a Dodger fan in South Dakota.

Nick: You got me on Ortiz.

"Time to offer a lesson in reality."

In reality the Dodgers are pretty bad. Their opening day starter was Vicente Padilla, that should show bad they are this year. These Dodgers are the same team that struggled with the Pirates. Their pitching is dreadful at best. All that money and all it can afford is this crappy team.

The way the Padres finished last year should make this start no surprise. But you should know about that you do "watch way too much baseball". Have fun with Ortiz tonight.

ortiz is gonna throw a no hitter, mark my words

Hey Steve,
The Doyers are now seeing the effect of the McCourt divorce. It will only get worse when they have to start dumping salary to pay for the settlement. Then the bickering will start. I can't wait.

Russ Ortiz????? Sounds like a big name player...these no name Padres are sure playing better than the 3rd place Doyers..and good luck "offering a lesson reality."

I think I'll reserve any comment on this subject until the the current 3 games series is over.

In 2008 there was a little low budget team of no names that nobody believe in until around August. That was the Tampa Bay Rays. You LA Snobs need to get off your high horse and just appreciate that money and steroids don't necessarily buy championships. Here's my prediction: The Padres will take 2 of 3 this weekend, Eckstein will kill the Dodgers all weekend and you will continue to think of him as "scrappy." Dodgers will not make the post season this year. Padres will win the division by 3 games.

It's Ramon Ortiz not Russ. He got a ring with Eckstein. He is a no name now. Wouldn't be surprised if he beats the Padres tonight. You sure got the Friar's fans riled up Steve. The fact is the Padres are off to a great start and the Dodgers club is not. The Pads are playing good fundemental mistake free baseball and getting the most out of mediocre pitching. The Dodgers until about 10 days ago were playing mistake riddled baseball and getting the least out of mediocre pitching. Things change and you can't go a whole year without making mistakes. The Padres got lucky missing timmy twice, the rockies are dinged up, and when you hold the d-backs up to inspection they look like a slice of swiss cheese, so kudos Pad fans. Thanks for holding on to first place, but you really haven't been too much of a David to our Goliath since we sent four in a row out in the ninth five years ago. Miss the playoffs much? The Dodgers need to fine tune and get Furcal going and this weekend's series should do nicely. We'll score about twenty give you fifteen taking two of three. It's a shame we only get to beat you twice at Chavez Ravine. It should take a dozen games or so before we get first back and the Padres begin their journey to their final resting place for 2010, 4th place, but look on the bright side S.D.; the Pads got a shot at .500. And one more thing, get yer own damn paper! This ain't the San Diego Times!

Mr. Dilbeck's thesis seems to be that money should equal championships, no matter what actually happens on the field. Fortunately, that's why they play the game. Yes, the Baby Pads are a bunch of no-names getting paid jack squat, and they're kicking everyone's tail in the league. They're winning with guts, brains and heart. Isn't that what every sports movie ever made is about?

Also, the Dodgers shouldn't be embarrassed they're behind the Padres. They should be embarrassed that they're old, out of shape prima-donnas who don't play well together as a team.

Class dismissed.

You Padres fans are crowning your team the NL west champs a little early, don't you think? Baseball in May doesn't mean squat, so you fair weather fans should get off your high horses and face the reality that the Dodgers are on a roll and they will prevail over the Madres.

Right on, Jon!


This is the best piece of writing I've seen in a long time, you should replace Plashke. Keep up the good work and save some for when the Giants come back to town.

@N.P.Krohn The Pads have mediocre pitching?

1st in the MLB in ERA
1st in shutouts
2nd in .BAA
2nd in OPS
2nd in WHIP
And a team that used to get run on at will now has the 6th fewest SBs allowed with the most CS

Ever since moving to Petco, the Pads have lived and died with their pitching. It wasn't that long ago that the Pads had one of the best staffs in all of baseball, and too be perfectly honest, this group from top to bottom is just as good, if not better than the staffs of 06/07

I don't expect them to keep these numbers up all year long, but at the end of the season, they'll still rank among the league's best pitching. But go ahead...Keep believing that this is a mediocre staff and all of this is a fluke.

Check your listed starting pitcher for the upcoming game. Russ Ortiz is in your rotation. There's not much else that needs to be said.

Posted by: Nick | 05/14/2010 at 01:10 PM

Yeah and I like tonight's matchup. Russ Ortiz vs. Judy Garland.

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